The end of an era

The days of the draft-and-follow ended with a bang last night.

Not only did the Angels sign Jordan Walden and the Padres ink Matt Latos, the Diamondbacks managed to come to an agreement at the very last minute with Max Scherzer.

Scherzer, of course, isn’t really a draft-and-follow in the true sense of the term. He was Arizona’s first-round pick last year, a Scott Boras client, and was pitching indy ball waiting to see if he’d be this year’s Jered Weaver and sign or this year’s Luke Hochevar and re-enter the draft pool. As of last evening, it looked like he was going to be the latter. But it’s amazing how much can happen between 11:55 p.m. and midnight at deadline time and the two sides were able to agree on a deal. Read MLB.com reporter Steve Gilbert’s account here.

This, of course, is the last year something like this can happen, in terms of a drawn out, year-long holdout. With the new rules in place, teams (and players) have until Aug. 15 to make a decision or they re-enter the pool for the following year. I’m sure there will still be the 11th hour negotiating, but it’ll happen a lot sooner. I wonder if teams will be more likely to draw a firmer line in the sand since with the new rules if they don’t ink their first round pick, they get a close-to-equal first round selection the following year.

Walden and Latos both got seven figures to sign and Scherzer’s deal is north of 4 million. There were some other draft-and-follow candidates out there and I’ll update as I have more details…

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